Malaysian startup Naluri raises US$5mil in Series A round

  • New strategic investors, Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia & INP Capital
  • Expanding in Singapore & Indonesia, launching in Thailand & the Philippines

Naluri cofounder and CEO, Azran Osman-Rani. With its US$5 mil Series A round, Naluri becomes the first startup in Malaysia to enjoy a dollar-for-dollar Malaysian Govt fund called, Dana Penjana National Program.

[Ed: Article updated with valuation estimate.]

NALURI Hidup Sdn Bhd, a Malaysia-headquartered digital health service provider, today announced the closing of its new, US$5 million (RM20.6 million) funding round. DNA has learnt from a party familiar with the deal that the valuation is in the US$29 million (RM120 million) range. The round took Naluri nine months to close.

The Series A round is cornerstoned by Singapore’s Integra Partners, who joins returning strategic investors, Duopharma Biotech Bhd and Pathology Asia (via Biomark), and venture capital firm, M Venture Partners, who were part of the preceding round.

Naluri also welcomes new strategic investors, Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia, as well as  Palm Drive Capital from New York and INP Capital from Vancouver, to its share register, and gains support from the Hibiscus Fund, a venture capital fund managed by Malaysia’s RHL Ventures and Korea’s KB Investment that forms part of the Dana Penjana National Programme.

This is the first time the Malaysian government will match a private capital contribution, dollar-for-dollar, to spur the local startup ecosystem. Naluri claimed to be the first company to benefit from this new scheme, intended to enable high growth firms to innovate and scale quickly.

Naluri cofounder and CEO, Azran Osman-Rani, said, “We are incredibly proud to have closed this oversubscribed round with the support of our lead investor, Integra Partners, and new strategic investors such as Sumitomo, who through PMCare, will continue to work with us to find ways to help their clients reduce medical claims.”

Noting that mental health is now at the fore in light of the pandemic, Azran added, “We are delighted that companies are now taking bolder steps to tackle physical and mental health holistically, and these investments are an affirmation of Naluri’s business model and growth prospects in this field.”

Expressing excitement at being part of Naluri’s journey in the years to come, Jennifer Ho, principal at Integra Partners, said: “Our work shows that Naluri is taking a differentiated and practical approach to healthcare that really gets at the root of the problems facing healthcare provisioning in Southeast Asia today.

“With the increasing prevalence of chronic diseases driving unsustainably high medical inflation, and the rise of mental health issues exacerbated by the pressures of Covid-19.”

Naluri claimed to offer human-led and AI-augmented digital health coaching that transforms the lives of people who are at risk of, or managing, chronic and mental health conditions.

The company said its services are premised on the fundamental understanding that physical and mental health are inextricably interconnected.

It provides structured multi-disciplinary support to those affected by diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, anxiety and depression, as well as advanced chronic conditions such as renal disease and cancer.

It added that it provides structured programme and proprietary app-based tools deliver clinically significant health outcomes that empower individuals to get healthier.

Working with leading corporates in the region, including Maxis Bhd, Reckitt, AXA Affin Bhd, and SP Setia, Naluri's goal is to help contain rising healthcare expenditure and improves employee productivity and engagement, it added.

Its website also carries the logos of Petronas and Malaysia Airlines, which parent company, Malaysia Aviation Group, issued a press release last year on its partnership with Naluri.

The deal with Naluri entailed offering psychological support to not just Malaysia Airlines but Firefly, MASwings, MABkargo, MAB Academy, and AeroDarat among others.  

The successful funding round empowers Naluri to aggressively pursue growth strategies that include:

  • Expanding operations in Singapore and Indonesia, as well as launching its service in Thailand and the Philippines;
  • Deepening its tech and data science capabilities to enhance Naluri’s product and predictive algorithms including natural language processing and depression detection, as well as device connectivity and patient monitoring; and
  • Continuing the company’s investment in clinical research to strengthen the evidence-base in diabetes, renal, cardiovascular, cancer and mental health therapeutic areas - including launching clinical research in Europe.

 Now available in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, Naluri will continue its rollout in key Southeast Asian markets in the coming months.


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